Beautiful People | Parental Edition

Beautiful People is a writing link-up created by Cait @ Paper Fury in which you share a bit about your characters. This month’s topic is parental relationships! I’ll be answering the following questions for Niko Deverow, (The main character of my Shaman Novel.)


  1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
    Niko’s biological parents mysteriously disappeared when he was three years old. His Aunt Zelda and Uncle Quinn are his legal guardians, but they don’t really care what he does as long as it doesn’t ruin their chance at a spot on the royal counsel. The closest thing he has to a real parent is his shaman mentor, Archer Cross. She was like a sister to Niko’s mother, and now she’s made it her mission to save him from the royal lifestyle as his mother would’ve wanted.

  2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence, and how has it affected their life?
    I already answered the first part of this question above… Sophia and Gidian Deverow disappeared when Niko was only three, so he never got a chance to know them. Niko inherited his Mom’s shaman gift: the ability to see spirits and residual energetic imprints. For example, he could see the blurred image of a violent murder that played out 50 years in the past because of the energetic imprint it left behind. This made it super hard for him when his Aunt and Uncle got guardianship. His dad basically ruined the Deverow name when he married a shaman, and now Zelda and Quinn care about nothing beyond fixing their reputation and reclaiming their spot on the royal counsel. From a VERY young age, Niko has been taught to hide his abilities. He wears a flawless mask to keep up his royal pretence, but beneath it he is filled with scars and secrets that can never be revealed. Because he’s holding so much inside, he finds ways to numb the world. He becomes addicted to Bliss, (a made-up drug), and turns to self-injury as a form of release.

  3. How did their parents meet?
    Every year, the Counsel and the Shaman Court meet under a peace flag. Gidian Deverow and Sophia Murser met at one such meeting. Sophie saw that something was off in Gidian’s aura. He didn’t quite fit with the other royals, and that intrigued her. She struck up a conversation at the peace banquet, and after several months of secret meetings, Gidian made plans to desert the counsel which would throw his family name into exile.

  4. How would they feel if they were told, “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
    Niko would be overjoyed to get ANY kind of information about his parents! He’s spent most of his life trying to find out what happened to them, which is difficult because he has no access to shaman records, and the counsel doesn’t keep information on traitors. Even though he sees the spirits of the dead, he’s never seen his parents. He can’t decide if this makes him scared or happy because it either means they’re not dead, they’re in some kind of afterlife, or they’re alive and somewhere worse than death.

  5. What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
    Sophia was training to become a spy for ISA, (the International Shaman Alliance). Gidian was being groomed to carry on his family name and one day inherit the Deverow’s counsel seat.

  6. Is there something they adamantly disagreed on?
    Considering they never new each other, they didn’t have a chance to disagree on anything.

  7. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
    It was very difficult for Sophie to find out that Niko had her abilities. Sight and Empathy are two of the most difficult shaman gifts to master, and when they’re combined, they usually result in madness.

  8. What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
    Niko has a vague memory of his mother singing him to sleep in a foreign language that sounds a lot like Hawaiian. However, he can’t decide if it really happened, or if he just made it up to feel some connection to his life before the counsel.

  9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
    Niko was a very quiet child. He was always watching, listing, and absorbing the world around him.

  10. Why and how did the parent(s) choose your character’s name?
    The name Niko means, “victory,” or, “warrior”. Gidian and Sophie named him Niko because they knew the world was a harsh place, and they wanted it to remind him that he was strong enough to fight and win.

Snippet Sunday

Snippet Sunday is a writing meme created by Samantha @ Reed’s Reads & Reviews in which you share a snippet from your current writing project. This snippet is from my Shaman Novel.


Vivian Deverow was drowning. It was kind of ironic if you thought about it. “Strike a match and let it burn,” she muttered to herself through a choked laugh. That’d been her motto for years, but her matches couldn’t burn under water.

Snippet Sunday

Snippet Sunday is a writing meme created by Samantha @ Reed’s Reads & Reviews in which you share a snippet of your current writing project. It’s been forever since I’ve done one of these, but today I bring you the “unofficial official” synopsis for my Shaman Novel. This is the blurb that I’ve posted to my Camp NaNoWriMo profile, but it’s subject to change as I continue to edit the story. I hope to have the book ready for beta readers by June, but in reality it’s probably going to be more like August or September…
Since you guys are following my book/writing blog, I’m assuming you’re all readers, writers, or both. That means you probably know a thing or two about books and their blurbs, so please let me know what you think of mine in the comments! Does this synopsis make you want to read my book? Is there anything you don’t like about it? Any and all feedback is appreciated! 😉


Nico Deverow’s entire life is built on secrets, lies, and blood. His family built their fortune in blood money and poisoned their way to a seat on the Royal Mist Council, but Nico doesn’t belong in that life. Ancient murders, restless spirits, and the uncensored truth in everyone’s auras are all revealed to him through residual layers of energy, and no one can ever know about it. The second sight is a shaman power, and a Deverow with a shaman gift would kill his bloodline’s reputation completely. His mask is flawless as his family name decrees, but underneath he’s shattering. With no one to help him contain his powers, the magical drug called Bliss and the raiser sharp blade of a dagger become his only salvation. But when natural born healer Adam Rachadon discovers his abilities, Nico is given a choice: trust a shaman with a secret his family would kill him for, or refuse his offer of help and continue to live a lie.

Writing Up Wednesday #3: What’s Your POV?

Writing Up Wednesday is a writing link-up created by Lizzy @ The Bent Bookworm. The theme for this week is POV.


When I sit down to write a story, I usually just start typing a scene from my outline and see what happens. Whatever words flow from my fingers are the words that will dictate my narrative POV for the rest of the story. Those first words are usually the most unfiltered by my own mind because they are the foundation for the entire story, and there is nothing that comes before them to dictate what they must make happen. In the case of my “Shaman Novel,” the first words that appeared on the page were in first person present tense and told through the eyes of Niko Deverow, my main character.
Narrative POV is very important to me. The POV has to feel exactly right before I can continue with a story. I see many authors saying that they only feel comfortable writing in a certain point of view, and in my opinion, your story and narrating character should be the deciding factor in your narrative POV and not your writerly comfort zone. The wrong POV can kill a book’s success, just as the right POV can make a story magical. I naturally gravitate towards first person for a lot of things, but I can usually tell if a character voice isn’t working with the narrative. I feel like first person is perfect for this story because it allows you, as the reader, to understand a character who might otherwise be difficult to connect with.

Beautiful People #1: Couples Edition

Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme created by Cait @ Paper Fury. It is designed to help writers get to know their characters, and this week the theme is character couples. Now… Romance actually does not enter my story until the very end because… Well… My MC is kinda struggling with life at the beginning, and lots of people are trying not to die, and I’m sorry but I simply cannot stand that trope where two characters fall in love and it’s all like “We might die if we’re not successful in this mission but I’m gonna stop and kiss you before we do whatever it is that might be our only chance to save the world from disaster!” There’s probably a name for that trope, but obviously I don’t know it, and I don’t wanna google it right now… Anyway… The romance comes in very close to the end of my story, and it’s a kinda major plot point, so I’m not going to actually say the names of the characters involved in order to avoid spoilers. I’ll just code name them Character X and Character Y for now. BTW… These characters come from my “shaman novel” that is currently code named Flawless Cracked and Broken. That title will probably change approximately 52 more times before publication, but tell me what you think of it pretty please? Now, without further rambling, I shall answer these questions!


  1. How and why did they meet?
    Character X and Character Y met after several traumatic events unfolded and they ended up helping each other out. Vague, I know, but so many spoilers abound!

  2. What were their first impressions of each other?
    Character Y thought Character X was just an annoying cheerleader who asked too many questions and smiled too much. Character X thought Character Y was cute but too quiet and probably had just as many secrets as she did herself.

  3. How would they prove their love for each other?
    AAAAAH! You people ask too many loaded questions! Struggles to think of an answer that won’t spoil something big Ok… Here’s another vague answer for ya:
    Something big happens to cause Character Y to face a bunch of ridicule from Character X’s sister, and Character X tells Character Y that she’s sorry about her sister and that she knows what it’s like to have lies spread about you behind your back.

  4. What would be an ideal date?
    Ok so the majority of this is set at Blackthorn Hall, which is a school for shamans. The school is surrounded by woods, and there’s this trail that goes up to the top of a waterfall, and the place above the waterfall kind of becomes their place.

  5. Is there something they emphatically disagree on?
    They absolutely cannot stand each other’s musical tastes! I have this thing where I match my characters with songs, so I’ll share an example from each character’s playlist…
    Character X:

Character Y:

  1. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)
    ◦Character X does not function until she’s had her sugar-filled coffee.
    ◦Character Y won’t drink anything containing caffeine or an excessive amount of sugar because it makes him jittery, and he’s jittery enough because of his shaman gift.
    ◦Character X has a strange love for red candy.
    ◦Orange Juice is Character Y’s comfort drink.
    ◦Character Y usually eats yogurt or fruit for breakfast.

  2. What’s one thing they know about each other that no one else does?
    They know all about each other’s family issues and past drug addictions because that’s partially what brought them together.

  3. What’s one thing that they keep a secret from each other?
    Ummm… I can’t answer that… The secret between them is kind of a major turning point in the book, and I want you guys to still have a reason to read this when it gets published, so… Pass!

  4. How would their lives be different without each other?
    They both showed each other that it’s okay to trust, and had they not met, they would both still be hiding their true selves under the mask of their royal bloodlines.

  5. Where do they each see this relationship going?
    Honestly, they aren’t sure at this point. Right now they’re just there for each other, and they’re both willing to see where it goes.


I really hope my answers weren’t annoyingly vague, but I was trying to preserve some mystery because this story is in the edit stages and hopefully will be headed for beta readers soon! Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check out the other posts in the link-up!

Writing Up Wednesday #1: Which Character is Your Favorite?

Today I discovered a new writing meme created by Lizzy @ The Bent Bookworm. Every week, there will be a theme for Writing Up Wednesday that highlights an aspect of your current writing project, and a link-up below Lizzy’s post where you can share your responses. The theme for this week is favorite characters, and you can click here to see Lizzy’s post.


Nico Deverow is my absolute most favorite character out of the “shaman novel” that I am currently editing/might as well be rewriting from scratch. His family holds one of the highest seats on the royal council, which basically means they rule the world. The Deverows are ruthless. They made their fortune in blood money, and they’ll kill if they have to in order to keep their power and status. But Nico doesn’t exactly fit into that picture… He can’t conform to the system of “academic magic” the council has created, and therefore he is “a disgrace to his royal blood.” On top of that, he has his own gift/curse to contend with! He can see auras, the spirits of the restless dead, the residual imprints of meaningful events, and pick up on the emotions around him. And… No one can ever know about any of this because those are shaman powers, and a Deverow having shaman powers would put his family’s precious reputation at risk. Nico learns to lock all his powers and true feelings inside, only showing the world the heir to the royal seat that they expect to see. He doesn’t trust anyone, and no one trusts him. His mask is flawless while really he’s shattering. He turns to a magical drug called Bliss and self harm as a way to escape it all. But eventually he finds some allies, and by the end of the book, he’ll be well on his way to becoming a true shaman.
Here’s a little scenario from Nico’s daily life: You enter a crowded room where a violent murder took place twenty years ago. Your gaze is immediately drawn to the translucent scene of the murder being played over and over again. You watch the knife flash in the moonlight that drifted through the window the night it happened, witness the woman’s silent screams, and watch as the blood stains the marble tiles. You know that this has happened hundreds of times in this room, and that if you allow yourself to get lost in the scene, you will witness other deaths that were never spoken of. You look away from the scene, blinking as colors swirl around you, fading from black, to white, to gray, to green, to purple as auras touch and move apart. It makes you dizzy. Everyone’s emotions stab at you like knives. You want to float again, but you can’t, not now, not here, not yet… You have to get through the gathering first-act royal, act normal, pretend you belong with this crowd that cares for nothing and no one but power.

Share Your Opinion?

Got any thoughts, (good, bad, or bloodstained), that you’d like to leave in the comments? Just kidding! Please don’t leave me any bloodstained thoughts! That got pretty dark, but Nico is a dark character. He actually came to be before any of the plot was formed, which means I worked the plot around him and his family, which means the whole book is kinda dark… Anyway… I’d love to hear about some of your characters, so feel free to drop your links in the comments if you do this! Also, don’t forget to check out the link-up on Lizzy’s post because there are lots of awesome writers out there!

The Author Christmas Tag

This tag is so ridiculously late that it’s extremely awkward to post it now… I thought I was doing really good with getting stuff out on time and even scheduled a few things over Christmas break, but it turns out that every single post I wrote went to my drafts instead of publishing to my blog. I don’t know if something updated, something decided not to play nice with a screen reader, or if it was just an idiotic operator error on my part, but yeah… I almost took over all your inboxes by hitting post all, but I thought better of it, which explains why you’re getting a Christmas tag after Christmas. I am also very sorry to Lia and everyone else participating in Short Story Society! All of my short stories were in those posts that went to drafts. They are now for sure scheduled to post over the next few days, but I had a couple things like this that had to go out in a specific time frame.
I saw this tag floating around youTube, (it’s actually called The Author Tube Christmas Tag), and decided to do it because I had some super fun answers for my characters! It was originally created by Living Within Fiction, and the rules are simple: just answer the questions given for a character of your choosing! I’m not tagging anyone because it’s so late, but feel free to do it and leave me a link in the comments if you want!


  1. What would your main character’s favorite Christmas song be?
    Umm… My main character would avoid Christmas music like the plague.
  2. Pick one of your characters. What would be on their Christmas wish list?
    Nico would be quite happy with a new knife or sketchbook.
  3. Which one of your characters, as an adult, would still believe in Santa Claus?
    Honestly probably none of them… I guess Diana would be the most likely, but she’d only do it to irritate her sister.
  4. Would your MC drink eggnog? If not, what would their Christmas go-to drink be?
    I’m just gonna do all my POV characters!
    Nico would only drink it if it was mixed with alcohol or Bliss, which is a magical drug that I made up.
    Ela might drink the kind that has those weird sweet flavors like coconut and stuff in it.
    Adam would be more likely to drink something like a peppermint mocha.
  5. Out of all of your characters, who would be the best gift giver?
    Definitely Adam or Ela! They’d both put a lot of thought into the gifts for the people they cared about.
  6. Your MC got a gift that he/she hated. What would he/she do?
    Well Nico doesn’t ever show much emotion, so you’d never know he hated it unless you really knew him well!
  7. Does your MC sleep in on Christmas, or wake up early with excitement?
    Nico gets up insanely early every day.
    Ela would be the one you’d have to drag out of bed.
    Adam would be cool with whatever.
  8. What would be your MC’s favorite part about the Holidays?
    Nico would be excited to get out of school, but he’d also hate having to go to all his family gatherings.
    Adam would love all the shaman rituals and traditions.
    Ela would love being out of school and getting to party with her friends.
  9. Your MC and his/her love interest step under the mistletoe. What happens?
    Nico and his love interest, (I am not telling who it is), would just look at each other, and laugh, and look away, and then they’d probably just walk off in opposite directions because their rebels like that.
    Adam and his love interest would kiss because that’s just what you do under mistletoe.
  10. Which of your characters would you find in the kitchen making Christmas treats?
    Definitely Raquel Blackthorn! She’s kind of the grandmother of the whole group.
  11. Lastly, a question for the author. What are some of your favorite books to read during the holidays?
    Harry Potter!!! I’ve spent the last couple days reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.